Sneezing is a reflex that helps clear the nose and throat of mucus and other irritants. It is usually a quick and harmless act, but can you break a rib by sneezing? In this article, we will explore the possible causes of rib fractures from sneezing and provide some tips on how to prevent them.
Can sneezing cause a fractured rib?
There are a few ways that sneezing could cause a rib fracture. These ways are;
- Sneezing with enough force that it causes the ribs to move and crack
- Sneezing while you have osteoporosis or other conditions that make your bones weak
- Sneezing and falling down, which could cause the ribs to hit something hard and break
- being pregnant.
Pregnant women are more likely to have problems with their ribs due to the added weight and pressure on the chest.
How can you prevent a rib fracture from sneezing?
There are a few things you can do to help prevent a rib fracture from sneezing:
- Try not to sneeze too hard. If you feel like you are going to sneeze, try to hold it in or at least sneeze into your elbow to lessen the impact.
- If you have osteoporosis or other conditions that make your bones weak, be sure to take extra care and maybe even avoid sneezing altogether.
- If you are pregnant, be sure to talk to your doctor about ways to help prevent rib fractures.
How common is it to fracture a rib from coughing or sneezing?
Fracturing a rib from coughing or sneezing is actually quite rare. Most of the time, ribs are fractured from more forceful impacts, such as car accidents or falls. However, if you have some conditions that make your bones weak, you may be at a higher risk for fractures.
How to stop uncontrollable sneezing
If you are sneezing uncontrollably, there are a few things you can do to try and stop it:
- Pinch your nose shut and hold your breath for a few seconds. This will help to stop the reflex.
- Drink some cold water or eat ice chips. The cold temperature will help to soothe the irritation.
- Breathe through your mouth instead of your nose. This will help to keep the irritants out.
- If you are allergic to something, try to stay away from it. If you can’t avoid it, take some allergy medication beforehand.
Sneezing is usually a quick and harmless act, but in rare cases, it can cause a rib fracture. If you are at risk for fractures or if you are pregnant, be sure to take extra care. If you are sneezing uncontrollably, there are a few things from the above points that you can do to try and stop it.